Jewel Cave National Monument
From Jewel Caves discovery in 1900 until today, it has continued to
inspire visitors with calcite crystal-lined passages and rooms decorated
with speleothems (cave formations). President Theodore Roosevelt declared
Jewel Cave a National Monument on February 7, 1908. With more than 133
miles surveyed, Jewel Cave is recognized as the second longest cave in the
world. Airflow within its passages indicates a vast area yet to be
explored. Come take a tour and learn for yourself about the wonders of
Jewel Cave and why it is important to preserve it.
Scenic Tour-Offered year-round
The tour provides an opportunity to visit chambers decorated with
calcite crystals and other speleothems, while walking on a paved trail.
You will enter and leave the cave by elevator from the visitor center.
This tour is considered moderately strenuous. It is a 1/2 mile loop that
includes 723 stairs scattered throughout the loop. It lasts approximately
1 hour and 20 minutes. This tour is offered year-round. The visitor center
phone number is 1-605-673-2288, ext. 0 if you want additional information.
Jewel Cave Discovery - Offered year-round
This talk is an introduction to Jewel Cave. Participants view one large
room of the cave and go up and down fifteen stairs.
Lantern Tour-Offered seasonally early June through early September
PLEASE CALL FOR TOUR TIMES
The Lantern Tour is a 1930s-style adventure. Visitors enter and leave
through the historic entrance and view the cave from an unpaved trail.
This tour is considered strenuous. The tour route is approximately 1/2
mile long, and includes steep wooden steps. The only light is provided by
a lantern each visitor carries. There is bending and stooping as you work
your way through passages to the Dungeon or Heavenly Room. The tour lasts
approximately 1-3/4 hours. Participants must be at least 6 years old.
There is a limit of 20 persons on each tour. Tickets are sold on a first
come, first served basis. This tour is offered early June through Labor
Day. Tickets for the Lantern Tour must be purchased or picked up at the
Spelunking Tour - tours to resume in June 2006
With hard hat in place and headlamp turned on you are ready to experience
the cave in its natural state. Feel the wind at Hurricane Corner, ascend
Martha's Kettle, crawl through the Roller Coaster and squeeze into the
Brain Drain. Participants scramble over cave "breakdown," chimney between
cave walls, use a handline to climb a nearly vertical wall, and
belly-crawl through tight passages. The cavers visit 2/3 mile of cave, and
learn about low-impact caving, caving techniques and safety. The tour
lasts 3-4 hours and is extremely strenuous. Anyone having a fear of closed
spaces or heights should not attempt this tour.
Participant must be 16 year of age or older. All participants are required
to provide proof of age, upon request. A parent or legal guardian is
required to sign, on the day of the tour, a waiver of responsibility for
any 16 or 17-year-old participants and should remain at the monument
throughout the duration of the tour. Participants must be in good physical
condition and are required to pass through an 8-1/2 inch by 24-inch crawl
space before beginning the tour. Refunds are not given for those visitors
unable to negotiate the block. This tour is offered early June through
The monument provides a hard hat and headlamp to each participant.
The participant provides: sturdy, above ankle, rubber-soled, lug-soled,
lace-up boots, long pants or coveralls, and a long-sleeved shirt, a change
of clothing, shoes, and a plastic bag for carrying soiled clothes and
boots from the visitor center after the tour. Gloves, soft knee pads and
elbow pads are required and must be provided by the participant. Clean
clothes and shoes must be brought to the visitor center when you check in
for the tour.
Clothing and footwear will be permanently stained by black manganese
deposits encountered during this tour.
Reservations are required and can be made up to one month in advance by
calling 1-605-673-2288, ext. 0. This tours can sell out. Tour size is
limited to a minimum of 2 visitors and maximum of 5 visitors. Tours may be
canceled due to lack of the required number of participants or due to
emergencies at the Monument. For more information on this tour you may
call the visitor center at 1-605-673-2288, ext. 0. The fee is $27.00.
Golden Age and Golden Access Passport holders receive a discount of 50%
off the cave tour ticket price. The National Parks Pass is not valid for
Spelunking Cave Tour fees.
[ Badlands National Park ] [ Bear Butte State Park ] [ Black Hills National Forest ] [ Crazy Horse Memorial ] [ Devils Tower National Monument ] [ Custer State Park ] [ Jewel Cave National Monument ] [ Mount Rushmore National Memorial ] [ Wind Cave National Park ] [ Scenic Byways - Peter Norbeck ] [ Scenic Byways - Spearfish Canyon ]